Surveys

U.S. Jewelry, Watch Sales Slow in August

SurveysOct 05, 2022

U.S. Jewelry, Watch Sales Slow in August

Plus, what economists are saying about consumer spending and a possible recession.

A pair of one-of-a-kind 18-karat rose gold earrings set with rubellite tourmalines, pink sapphires and diamonds by Sevun (price available upon request). U.S. watch and jewelry sales were up only 4 percent year-over-year, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.
New York—U.S. watch and jewelry sales growth slowed year-over-year in August, government data shows, with numbers still paling in comparison to the highs of last year.

Sales in the category in August were up 4 percent year-over-year, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).

Jewelry sales alone increased 4 percent year-over-year while watch sales also rose up 4 percent.

In July, sales in the watch and jewelry category rose 6 percent year-over-year, as per revised BEA data, with jewelry sales increasing 6 percent and watch sales up 7 percent.

Watch and jewelry sales for the full year are expected to continue to grow but will likely not match the level reached last year.

In 2021, dubbed “the year of jewelry” by industry analyst Edahn Golan, sales in the category reached an estimated $106.01 billion, a 46 percent increase year-over-year, according to revised BEA data.

This year, as of September, full-year watch and jewelry sales are expected to reach an estimated $112.34 billion, a 6 percent year-over-year increase.

Jewelry and watch sales and the overall economy are on a similar trajectory of slowing growth as consumers battle inflation amid geopolitical unrest.

The Consumer Price Index, which measures the average change in prices over time consumers will pay for a basket of goods and services, rose 8 percent year-over-year in August and 0.1 percent month-over-month.

The rising cost of shelter and food offset the effect of falling gas prices, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In a statement about September’s CPI, President Joe Biden said: “It will take more time and resolve to bring inflation down, which is why we passed the Inflation Reduction Act to lower the cost of healthcare, prescription drugs and energy.”

 Related stories will be right here … 

In the National Retail Federation’s October review, Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz gave an overview of the current economic situation, highlighting the headwinds and weighing the possibility of a recession.

“The economic situation in the United States is unsettling,” said Kleinhenz. “Consumer confidence is down, consumer spending’s rate of growth has slowed, and economists and consumers alike are worried about the possibility of a recession, all reflecting persistently high inflation and rising interest rates.”

While the spending growth rate has slowed, there is still growth.

Consumer spending was better than expected in August with the U.S. Census Bureau reporting overall retail sales growth of 0.3 percent month-over-month and 9 percent year-over-year.

“Year-over-year increases in retail sales have been mostly in the upper single digits since spring, not as dramatic as the double-digit numbers seen most of last year into early 2022 but still healthy,” he said.

The battle against inflation is a tricky one. Higher prices impact consumer confidence, but the Federal Reserve’s main tool in fighting inflation is raising the interest rate, which is another blow to consumer confidence.

“Consumers have become cautious – but they have not stopped spending,” Kleinhenz said. “Growth is not as high as last year, but households continue to spend each month as more jobs, wage growth and savings backstop their finances and help them confront higher prices.”

As for a recession, the possibility is seeming more likely, he said. Gross domestic product has declined for two consecutive quarters, which does typically, though not by the official definition, indicate a recession.

The Blue Chip Economic Indicators panel of business economists, which includes Kleinhenz, does predict GDP growth ahead in the third and fourth quarters of the year.

However, in a September survey, fewer economists on the panel believe the Federal Reserve can rein in inflation without causing a recession (38 percent this month versus 51 percent in August), but 95 percent believe a recession would likely be mild.

Around 42 percent of the panel said they expect a recession this year while 54 percent said it would begin in 2023.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

The Latest

Supplier BulletinJan 26, 2023
JA New York Spring Brings the Industry Together

For over 100 years, JA New York has played an integral role in facilitating the evolution of our industry, while also honoring past traditions.

TrendsJan 26, 2023
At Vicenzaoro, Paola De Luca Gazes Into Jewelry’s Future

The trend forecaster and her guests explored unconventional jewelry designs, NFTs, AI art, and more during her Trendvision presentation.

CollectionsJan 26, 2023
NDC and Lorraine Schwartz Announce New ‘EDDI’ Class

The Emerging Designers Diamond Initiative provides diamond credit and mentorship to young brands helmed by BIPOC designers.

Brought to you by
Bringing Over 130 Years of Diamond Expertise to Modern Grading

De Beers Institute of Diamonds provides the very best in diamond verification, education and diamond services.

IndependentsJan 26, 2023
Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry Set to Open 10th Store

It will be located in San Antonio’s Alamo Quarry Market and will be Lee Michaels’ third location in the city.

Weekly QuizJan 26, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Policies & IssuesJan 26, 2023
Diamonds Do Good Names 10 to Board of Directors

Stephanie Gottlieb, Jewelers Mutual’s Mike Alexander, and Craig Rottenberg of Long’s Jewelers are among the new board members.

WatchesJan 25, 2023
These Were 2022’s Top-Selling Watch Brands, Chrono24 Says

Rolex remained No. 1 while a brand known for its pilot watches slipped into the No. 5 spot.

Brought to you by
De Beers Institute of Diamonds Expands to Offer Education

De Beers is sharing over 130 years of experience and expertise through the De Beers Institute of Diamonds with a selection of courses.

MajorsJan 25, 2023
John Hardy Names New CEO

Luxury retail executive Frédéric Levy has taken on the role.

Events & AwardsJan 25, 2023
Couture DAC Accepting Applications for Mentorship Program

Jewelry designers have until early February to apply to take part in Couture's Diversity Action Council program.

CollectionsJan 25, 2023
Stephanie Gottlieb Announces First President, CCO Hire

Morgan P. Richardson joins from La Perla.

Policies & IssuesJan 25, 2023
PGI’s New Portal Wants to Teach You About Platinum

The new portal will share information on responsible platinum sourcing and how it’s used beyond jewelry.

SourcingJan 24, 2023
Tiffany Buys 35 of the Last Diamonds Recovered From Argyle

Purchased directly from Rio Tinto, the collection consists of pinks, purples and one red, none larger than 1.52 carats.

ColumnistsJan 24, 2023
On Data: Here’s How Independent Jewelers Did in 2022

Sherry Smith breaks down retailers’ performance last year, including how natural diamonds fared vs. lab-grown.

GradingJan 24, 2023
GIA and AGS Launch Diamond Light Performance Supplement Report

The AGS Ideal Report by GIA is a digital-only addition to GIA diamond reports.

MajorsJan 24, 2023
WJA Announces New International Board Members

The seven newcomers include executives from David Yurman, De Beers, and GIA.

EditorsJan 23, 2023
Designers to Watch in 2023: Aurelia Demark

The designer finds the modernity in classic motifs and family heirloom jewels.

Policies & IssuesJan 23, 2023
Melanie Grant Named Executive Director of RJC

She has more than 20 years’ experience in watches and jewelry, and says sustainability is the “greatest single issue” facing the industry.

Policies & IssuesJan 23, 2023
AGTA Forms Committee to Standardize Industry ‘Sustainability’ Terms

Its focus are words like “sustainability,” “ethics,” and “responsible sourcing.”

IndependentsJan 23, 2023
10 Jewelry News Stories You Might Have Missed

Another “Designer to Watch” and Kim Kardashian’s auction purchase were among our most-read stories.

MajorsJan 20, 2023
Quality Gold Acquires Herco

Herco President Reuven Itelman is retiring and selling the company, which will relocate to Ohio from California.

Lab-GrownJan 20, 2023
Siobhán Duffy Promoted to Chief Executive of Element Six

She was previously the executive director of sales and marketing for the De Beers Group-owned company.

TrendsJan 20, 2023
Piece of the Week: Loquet London’s Lunar New Year Charm

It’s from a new collection of charms designed to go in the brand’s signature lockets.

IndependentsJan 20, 2023
Edge Retail Academy Announces Annual Award Winner

Lonnie Iannazzo of Vincent Anthony Jewelers is the 2022 William (Wag) Wagner Business Excellence Award recipient.

Lab-GrownJan 19, 2023
GIA Rolls Out Less Expensive Report for Lab-Grown Diamonds

The revised Laboratory-Grown Diamond Report-Dossier still includes the four Cs but doesn’t list growth method or post-growth treatments.

AuctionsJan 19, 2023
Kim Kardashian Bought Princess Diana’s Amethyst Cross

The businesswoman and reality TV star paid nearly $200,000 for the “Attallah Cross.”

MajorsJan 19, 2023
Signet Names New Jared President as Executive Shuffle Continues

Luxury retail veteran Claudia Cividino has stepped into the role.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy